Crossing the line

JJMoon Diary
Barry and Margaret Wilmshurst
Tue 21 May 2013 15:13
We crossed the equator just after lunch yesterday – the fourth time on the voyage – just four days and 505 miles from Ascension.  The last time we crossed the equator going north we were under stress and under tow; it all seems an age ago now.  We were caught a little unawares this time having been relaxing over a good lunch and were somewhat at a loss to know how to celebrate.  It is well known that JJ Moon is a “dry” ship on passage and in any case we had polished off the remaining booze at our last two ports of call.  We had to make do with a mug of Twinings Green Tea with Mint.  We thought it tasted just as sweet.
This morning the wind practically died.  It had been becoming progressively weaker during the night and with less than five knots of wind, less than two knots of boat speed and slatting sails we decided to call it a day.  The Doldrums had arrived and we were in for several days motoring.  It was a false alarm.  After four hours we were up and running under sail again, getting some more very valuable miles under the keel without expenditure of diesel.
The medium term forecast is for about 400 miles of flat calm followed by a further 250 miles of light headwinds.  After that we should start to feel the NE trades on our cheeks.  Up ahead Nije-Faam reports 24 hours of continuous rain but we have been spared so far.